The Ninja Daughter

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by Tori Eldridge

Calling herself a ninja is no vanity for Lily Wong: she’s been studying Chinese wushu since she was five years old and Japanese kunoichi (ninja training) since she was 12.

But it wasn’t until her younger sister was raped and murdered that Lily found her mission in life. She brought vengeance to her sister’s killer and then dedicated her life to helping vulnerable people — mainly abused women and children — with her special skills.

She lives above Wong’s Hong Kong Inn in Culver City, which her Norwegian father owns and is the head chef of, and evades her Chinese mother’s efforts to marry her off to a suitable man. She doesn’t own a car and moves around the city on her bike, the bus, the subway or ride share services.

About two-thirds of this book reads like “a day in the life of a Ninja.” It opens with Lily being tortured by an efficient Russian mob enforcer to find out where his boss’s (Dimitry Romanko’s) kidnapped abused wife and son have been taken. She violently disables him and races to the women’s shelter where she left the abused wife and child, only to learn that they have gone back to Romanko.

When Lily shows up at the house, scales a wall and climbs in a window without Romanko seeing her, the wife tells her that he threatened to take away the child and make sure she never saw her son again. Lily backs off; you can only help those who want to be helped.

She picks up her next project from the headlines: A night club waitress (Mia Mikkelsen) was attacked by a customer she was flirting with. In court, the customer  (J Tran) and his attorney challenge her allegations, destroy Mia’s reputation and Tran gets off without a black mark. Mia remains terrified and agrees to let Lily scope him out and protect her, if necessary.

J Tran proves to be as well trained as Lily, in addition to being a sociopathic killer. Through Mia and Tran, Lily discovers the loose string that ties together Dimitry, Tran, Mia, several high ranking Southern California politicians and a dirty real estate scheme based on plans to extend the Los Angeles subway system south to Huntington Beach.

This book is a fun read of the Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Okoye, Captain Marvel and Black Widow comic book sort. Author Tori Eldridge, who holds a fifth degree black belt in To Shin Do Ninjutsu, knows her martial arts and writes about them well. Unfortunately, the characters are flat: they don’t have interior conflicts or tough choices that threaten their integrity. The bad guys are REALLY bad. Not much self-awareness or redeeming qualities there.

And there’s a lot of bloody, violent action in this book.

I’d put this series squarely in Beach/Pool/Airplane category. If you enjoy this book, you may want to check out its sequel, THE NINJA BLADE.

About the Author: Tori Eldridge

Born and raised in Honolulu, Tori Eldridge graduated from Punahou School with classmate and former President Barack Obama.

She has been an actress, singer, and dancer on Broadway, television and in film. She has traveled the United States teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons and women’s self-defense. Her students have ranged from military and law enforcement personnel to moms and kids.

She currently lives in Los Angeles, where her first two Ninja novels are set.

Like her protagonist Lily Wong, Eldridge has mixed ancestry that includes Hawaiians, Chinese and Norwegians. She practices Tendai Buddhism and meditates daily.


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